Russian Nobel laureate auctioning medal to benefit Ukraine
Dmitry Muratov, the Russian editor in chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, on Monday will auction off his Nobel Peace Prize gold medal to benefit children displaced by the war in Ukraine.
Muratov won the prize in 2021 alongside journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines, with the committee honoring them "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression."
Muratov's paper in March suspended operations in Russia, after Moscow adopted legislation providing for tough jail terms against anyone criticizing the Kremlin's bloody military campaign in Ukraine.
Muratov was among a group of journalists who founded Novaya Gazeta in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union. This year it became the only major newspaper left voicing criticism of President Vladimir Putin and his tactics inside and outside the country.
The announcement that it was suspending operations came more than a month into Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Heritage Auctions is handling the sale of Muratov's Nobel Medal, which is on the block both online and in person, with the final sale slated for Monday evening in Manhattan.
As of Monday morning the bid stood at $550,000. The proceeds will go to UNICEF's Humanitarian Response for Ukrainian Children Displaced by War.
In April Muratov was assaulted on a train when a person threw oil-based paint mixed with acetone on him, causing his eyes to burn.
Since 2000, six of Novaya Gazeta's journalists and collaborators have been killed in connection with their work, including investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.
Muratov has dedicated his Nobel Prize to their memory.
"This newspaper is dangerous for people's lives," Muratov told AFP last year. "We are not going anywhere."
Speaking in a video released by Heritage, the prominent journalist said that winning the Nobel "gives you an opportunity to be heard."
"The most important message today is for people to understand that there's a war going on and we need to help people who are suffering the most," he continued, pointing specifically to children in refugee families.
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